Today, we’re talking to Narell who is the owner of Boost Juice Grand Plaza. Her and her team serve up delicious smoothies to the customers in the centre, and also offer a delivery service to the other retail workers who are too busy to step out of their store! We asked Narell about what it’s like to be a part of Boost & the Grand Plaza retailer team.
Q. Can you tell us about some of your regular customers and what makes them unique?
A. The funny thing is that we remember some of our regular customers more by what drink they have, or a combo of their name and drink. We have the Whadda Pine Family; Mango Magic Tane; and Banana Buzz Marlin. It’s funny that you can look at a customer and instantly remember their drink.
Narell took over the Boost Grand Plaza store in August 2016 but had been in Boost since 2013. Key moments along the way include a knock-down and rebuild of the Grand Plaza kiosk in 2019, and many awards won, including multiple NRA’s Franchisee of the Year, Grand Plaza’s Retailer of the Year (specialty store category); and Grand Plaza’s Retailer of the Quarter in Food Retail category.
Q. Can you tell us the story of how you first became involved in Boost and the hospitality/retail industry?
A. Just a bit of a mid-life crisis I think! I took a voluntary redundancy from another job after 26 years of service. I was in a senior position, worked very long hours, and did a lot of travel to Indigenous communities - so I was looking forward to kicking back for a while and spending a little more time with my teenage sons. After 6 months off I was keen to get back to work, and figured my boys were getting to the point that they would be looking for casual employment while they finished high school.
I just happened to look up the Boost Juice website one day and saw that they did information nights around the country. It just so happened that the Brisbane one was scheduled a few days later. Came away after the night fairly interested and was then advised that the store at Sunnybank Plaza was up for sale. It was important for me that the store was fairly close to home. It just seemed that the stars were aligned and it was meant to be!
Boost Juice Grand Plaza is known for its energy and excellent customer service – a trait Narell attributes to putting customers as the store’s first priority. Narell herself spends a lot of time in-store interacting with the customers, leading by example so that her staff pick up on how to be lively and talk to those visiting Grand Plaza.
“All my staff are told from day 1 that our customers are our number one priority. They are also told that they need to wear a smile on their face each day.“
Q. What is it about the Grand Plaza community that is special?
A. That sense of looking out for each other and caring – both from other retailers and customers. During those first few weeks of COVID, I was back in store everyday with my husband (who had taken long service leave from his job to help me). I had recently had surgery on 4 of my fingers, and with the strength in my hands not back to normal I did struggle to do a few simple things. I remember opening up the store one morning and I couldn’t for the life of me get the tops off the juice bottles. I had to ask an older gentleman who was just walking past the store if he could help me. To this day, every time he is in the plaza and sees me, he smiles and waves and asks how my hands are going.
Grand Plaza is Narell’s local shopping centre as she lives just 5 minutes up the road. Her Boost is a real family business too – starting the partnership with her Sister (however they have since gone their separate ways). Her two sons are still working with Narell at Boost, having started in 2013. Her Dad helps out early every morning doing some cleaning, her Husband (with his own full-time job) helps out on busy public holidays, and her Mum won’t hesitate to jump on in and wash jugs on a busy Saturday if she wanders past the store and sees they are busy. And on special days like re-opening after a refurb, Mum is there with her chocolate brownies and sandwiches for the team.
Q. Is there a specific event or instance you can think of that has made your day recently?
A. Actually, it was only today that I had two customers say how fantastic the store was looking with our brightly coloured balloons, and a customer had noticed I had my hair done and said how great it was looking. Who would of thought that customers would notice your hair?
Find Narell & the team at Boost Juice Grand Plaza near Connor & Rockmans in the middle of the Plaza.